How Penn State Led The Country In Sacks
By FirstDown PlayBook on Feb 4, 2019

By USA Football’s Grady Grayvold

Brady Grayvold and USA Football have released an interesting article that covers the Penn State Nittany Lions and their 2018 defensive unit that led the nation in defensive sacks. We wanted to bring it to our FirstDown PlayBook coaches’ attention. Enjoy!

When you look at the recent success Penn State has had, the common fan can easily point out how successful their offenses have been and the types of players they’ve produced. College football knows Trace McSorley. The National Football League has a guy by the name of Saquon Barkley that also hails from Happy Valley.

Most, though, do not realize that the Penn State defense ranked No. 1 in defensive sacks this past season. At an average of 3.62 sacks per game, totaling 47 on the year, nobody in America was better at getting to the quarterback and causing havoc in the backfield than the Nittany Lions. Here’s a look at what makes Penn State so successful at creating big losses in passing situations.

The first thing you notice when watching Penn State’s defense play is how active their defensive linemen are on every play. Penn State has an extremely hard-charging defensive line that rarely takes a play off. They are good with their hands and relentlessly pursue the quarterback during passing situations. Mixed in with this is the Nittany Lions use a number of line stunts to pick and roll to free players in the rush game. One example of this came versus the Michigan Wolverines. To read more tap on the pic below…

 

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